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    Hey all.

    I've just finished 1st year, and would love to improve my portfolio generally (and more specifically, surgery). However, I am not too sure as to how I can do so: are there any courses/conferences/suggestions that I should attend? I do apologise for the rather naive post, but from my understanding, surgery is incredibly competitive and it's only going to get worse, so I feel as though I should at least prep for it now in case I decide to go for it completely.
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    (Original post by Janitorian)
    Hey all.

    I've just finished 1st year, and would love to improve my portfolio generally (and more specifically, surgery). However, I am not too sure as to how I can do so: are there any courses/conferences/suggestions that I should attend? I do apologise for the rather naive post, but from my understanding, surgery is incredibly competitive and it's only going to get worse, so I feel as though I should at least prep for it now in case I decide to go for it completely.
    Becca-Sarah will be able to give you some more specific advice. Generally, I'd recommend trying to get a summer project for between 2nd and 3rd year - it's something I wish I had the motivation to do back then, sounds fun from the sounds of it and it's good for your CV. You're quite lucky with surgery because there's loads of student stuff to get involved in - there's a handful of student surgical conferences a year you can attend and will teach you new things. Join your school's surgery society and get involved in that. Consider intercalation into a surgery-related subject. Join the RCS, it's quite good for students that have an eye for surgery by the sounds of it and they have quite a few careers days/conferences/whatever as well. There's also loads of prizes for surgery out there, so find out about those and apply for them - both internal and external ones.
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    (Original post by Janitorian)
    Hey all.

    I've just finished 1st year, and would love to improve my portfolio generally (and more specifically, surgery). However, I am not too sure as to how I can do so: are there any courses/conferences/suggestions that I should attend? I do apologise for the rather naive post, but from my understanding, surgery is incredibly competitive and it's only going to get worse, so I feel as though I should at least prep for it now in case I decide to go for it completely.
    Get involved in research. If you know which specialty you would like to aim for find the professor of that specialty in your area and contact them, this will generally give you the best chance of publishing as they tend to be on the ball with regards to topics you can research.

    You can also organize some work experience in the field at the local hospital which will help you gain contacts with regards to organizing SSC's or getting involved with projects.

    Audits are another good thing to get involved in as with the sudden upsurge in student surgically orientated conferences they are relatively easy to present (poster or oral).

    Attendance at conferences can also show commitment but they are dependent on finances.

    Consider intercalation onto either a Bsc or Masters when the time comes and also consider using your elective period to gain further experience in your chosen specialty.

    There are also plenty of prizes available to students via various organisations. Consider becoming a student affiliate of the RCS as they will often offer student prizes
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    I'd say that the basic principles are the same for all competitive specialities (except plastics as that requires a lot more of the following)

    -intercalate- pretty much a given
    -attend surgical conferences. This depends on finances, do not bother with student conferences (often no credit) and only go if you have something to present as otherwise it's just too expensive (for me at least)
    -get published! Ideally in a surgical field but really at this stage any publication in any half decent journal does the trick
    -try to win an essay prize (difficult)
    -try to get a few complete cycle audits (don't be over ambitious... Small audits can be as successful as large ones)
    -some surgical specialities require evidence of practical skills
    -get involved with local surgical society in Medical school (commitment)
 
 
 
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